Craft and Handmade Shows, Craft Show Display, Tutorials

Make a Rotating Display for Craft Shows

Tutorial for Rotating Display Cheltenham RoadI must confess I spent last week kind of recovering from Unique LA (which mostly involved trying to figure out where to put all the things I’d built).

I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how I made my rotating display towers. I honestly don’t know if any of you are interested in making something like this but, you know, just in case.

I had wanted a more efficient way to display the candle blocks that got them up at eye level and also made a good use of space.

I saw these in the hardware storePlywood Rounds for Rotating Craft Show Display

and suddenly the whole display popped into my head!

Of course, how I was going to make the display did not pop into my head but I decided to go for it anyway and figure it out as I went.  (This approach usually ends in tears but hope sprang eternal.)

I knew I needed something to separate the layers, it needed to be strong but I wanted also to keep things kind of on the lighter side. I also needed it to come apart easily for transport. I considered and dismissed wood posts but, while trolling the aisle at Lowes spotted 4″ PVC pipe and suddenly it all made sense.

So, here are the basic supplies:Supplies for Rotating Display


  • Graduated sized wooden circles – I’ve seen them at most big box retailers.
  • a length of 4″ PVC Pipe (in my case cut into three 7″ lengths) (( also see  “note” below about using smaller versions)
  • 4 (four) 4″ PVC flat-bottomed pipe caps
  • 1 (one) lazy susan base (usually found by the drawer slides at Lowes or elsewhere)
  • A chunk of scrap wood for the base
  • Screws, drill, paint etc

The first step, determining the center of the circle, was the second most challenging part of this project. I tried to do the math but eventually ended up just eyeballing it and it came out ok.

Once I had calculated eyeballed the center of the largest circle, I used three screws to attach one of the 4″ caps upside down.Make a rotating display stand

I did the same with the medium circle – attaching the caps to both the top and bottom.

And finally, I attached a cap to the underside of the smallest circle.

After that it was just a matter of attaching the PVC pipes and I had my tower.DIY Rotating Display Stand Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LAOK, here is the trickiest part.

Apparently everyone but me was born with the knowledge of how to install a lazy susan base because the package comes with no instructions. NONE. ZERO. NADA.

It turns out to be fairly logical and quite do-able once it’s explained to you.  However, I am not the person to do that . This video (by a woman whose last name is Chaney so she must be cool) helped me understand.Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Tips and post-project realizations:

If they’ll do it, have the hardware store cut the PVC pipe for you to length. I did it on my chop saw and though it was easy, it was messy and (don’t tell my dad) I had to resort to semi-unsafe saw usage to make it happen.

Don’t paint the PVC pipe. Or at least don’t paint the parts where the cap and the pipe come together. I did a very light coating with spray paint and just that was enough to make them stick together REALLY REALLY snugly. I can still get them apart but it’s a lot of work.

For the second tower I made I went down to a smaller size of PVC.  It was a little bit cheaper and seems just as strong – it just depends on the weight of whatever you’re displaying.

So there you go.  Rotating, easy transport towers.  And no tears!!!!! (well, ok, there were some minor tears when I couldn’t figure out the lazy susan base and felt really dumb but it passed).

5 thoughts on “Make a Rotating Display for Craft Shows”

  1. Thanks for sharing your design. I appreciate your willingness to share with all your hard work and trial/error and time. Your display area was awesome and just looked so professional. I do local craft shows and I can’t think of how much work you put into making your display, the items, the loading, unloading and the set up. Then most of that in reverse. I hope the sale itself went well for you. Best wishes.

  2. Great display idea and your booth looks so professional. One way to easily find the center of a circle is to trace the circle onto paper (like newspaper), cut it out, then fold it in half, and fold it in half again. Hold the edge of the now quarter-circle paper against the edge of the wood and mark the center at the point.

    1. I’m torn between saying “what a terrific tip – thanks!” and “really? now you tell me?” I’m gonna go with the former cause that really is a great technique and I will no doubt find it very very useful in the future. Thanks much!

  3. great idea! You make it look simple–I’d be crying with frustration over something.

    I once had a marble lazy susan–I think it had been epoxy glued onto the two pieces of marble. eventually the glue went bad and the lazy susan was detached from the base. However, the weight of the marble was enough to keep it working for my light use in the kitchen. My point, if you use glue because you can’t drill/screw it without breaking it–pick a really good glue.

  4. Your ignorance about the lazy Susan installation is surpassed by my ignorance that a “lazy Susan” is a piece you can buy in a hardware store. I always thought it was only sold in Bed Bath & Beyond as a finished item! Wow…you have opened my eyes.

    Also, this tutorial is great. It looks super-easy, especially since you’ve already figured out all the secrets. Thanks for sharing!

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